Afterglow Festival

Kim David Smith

July 11th, 2016  |  Published in Artists

Australian Kim David Smith is a Helpmann Award nominated singer and cabaret performer, known for his Weimar-era inspired works that juxtapose authentic musical material with stylistic takes on current popular tunes. His electro-pop albums Nova, Supernova, and cabaret EP, The Tease, are available worldwide on iTunes and Amazon.


His cabaret programmes, Stargazing (directed by Michael Rader), Nova Noir, Misfit and Morphium have performed regularly in New York City at Café Sabarsky at the Neue Galerie, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre, the Laurie Beechman Theatre, the Due Theatre at DMAC, and Bard Spiegeltent at Bard College, while also touring Australia —  presented at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, The Festival of Voices, The Brisbane Cabaret Festival, Slide Cabaret Festival, The Ballarat Cabaret Festival, Chapel Off Chapel, the National Gallery of Victoria, and Smith’s cabaret birthplace, the Butterfly Club. Past cabaret programmes include Johnny Come Lately (directed by Karen Kohler), Kim Smith’s Jungle Parade (directed by Martin Croft), Kim Smith is Madly Adored, and Quietly Kim Smith.  2009 saw Smith presented with the Back Stage Magazine Bistro Award for Special Achievement as an Outstanding Performer (honoured alongside Liza Minnelli and Charles Aznavour).  He was also nominated for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Manhattan Association of Cabaret (MAC) Awards in the Outstanding Male Vocalist category.  Smith is a recipient of the American Australian Association’s Dame Joan Sutherland Award for aspiring artists (2008), and is a member of the Kabarett Kollektif, a troupe of New York-based artists dedicated to preserving the European cabaret tradition.  Mr. Smith studied music theatre at the Ballarat Arts Academy in Australia (BA, Music Theatre), and resides in New York City.


Follow Kim on Instagram and Twitter: @kimdavidsmith

“Mr. Smith, a transplanted Australian who has lived in New York for nearly a decade, is a living artwork with a sculpted body and the haughty attitude of a beautiful young man (he’s in his early 30s) acutely aware of his value as a love object. Not for nothing did Mr. Smith suggest a male Marlene Dietrich.”

Stephen Holden, The New York Times


“In his playfulness, Mr. Smith is a descendant of his fellow Australian Peter Allen. He could be described as a younger generation’s “Boy From Oz.””

Stephen Holden, The New York Times



“Completely stellar…slyly subversive.”

Will Friedwald, The Wall Street Journal, New York City


“He happily considers himself as a misfit, as the title of his show suggests, and goes about proving his point in several languages. There’s no one else around these days offering the kind of cabaret that he does so compellingly. Well, maybe Ute Lemper, but that’s it. Smith needs to be seen, and now.”

David Finkle, The Village Voice, New York City


“no avant-garde, gender-bending, or mainstream artist dancing in the cabaret arena today takes more risks. Smith is a visionary without borders who might just be the David Bowie of Cabaret.”

John Hoglund, BroadwayWorld.Com


“I’d bet that Kim David Smith could sing the dictionary and turn it into a dramatic musical theatre piece, keeping the audience spellbound from aardvark straight through to zymurgy. To every song he brings a commitment and focus that are intense and hypnotic. His delivery, in a voice with no fuzzy edges, is enviably precise. Add to this his striking good looks that are almost improbably pretty and you’ve got a unique artist, unlike anyone else I know of in this country. Indeed, he’s an import from Australia—I guess we don’t grow ’em like that here.”

Roy Sanders,, New York City


“Coordinated and polished, he makes cabaret seem so easy, sensual and natural.  A powerful, self possessed and incredibly enchanting force of massive appeal, Smith demonstrates how cabaret should be performed. He is a master of his craft.”

Liz Belilovskaya,, New York City


“Why try to describe Kim David Smith and his show? It has to be experienced. It is perhaps enough to say that if it ran for two hours instead of one, it still wouldn’t be enough.  One (song) that has to be spoken of is Pirate Jenny. Pairing it briefly with What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailors, Kim delivers what may be its most powerful rendition.”

Barbara Leavy, Cabaret Scenes Magzine, New York City


“Kim David Smith is cool, lithe and consummate with all the confidence and presence needed to allow you sit back and be entertained. With just his voice and delivery Smith recreates the seductive decadence of the kabarett performances of Weimar Berlin. Smith knows he will soon have the audience eating out of his palm, probably even sucking his fingers. He is most definitely mesmerising and compelling.”

Liza Dezfouli, Australian Stage, Australia


“Mr. Smith is the consummate showman from his entrance through the audience to his lingering, understated exit. Delivering cabaret in the Weimar style Smith displays his language skills as well as his musicianship. Unusual numbers revamped prove very entertaining, including a version of The Supremes’ “Keep Me Hangin’ On,” which was moody and sensual, and “Somewhere over the Rainbow” (in German) which was just beautiful. Smith’s every gesture and expression conveyed his understanding of the material and the emotions involved. It’s what cabaret is all about!”

Fran Edwards, Adelaide Theatre Guide, Australia


“★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Wit and cleverness aplenty. Smith has strong sense of irony, wit and avante garde – always entertaining, great voice with impressive range –gratifying to see new edgy shows like this.”

Tim Hunter, The Age, Australia


“Kim David Smith is master of his own domain in cabaret, totally secure and in charge of every twist and turn and trick or treat, tremble and taunt. His version of “Over the Rainbow” is sung wistfully, yes — beautifully, yes — with aching loneliness, yes — but in German. Whether dripping with melancholy or bouncing back with bright eyes washed by the tears and alight with the possibilities of joy and/or romance to be found, this multi-lingual, multi-faceted fellow is a consummate performer”

Rob Lester, NiteLife Exchange Magazine, New York City


“Kim David Smith’s Morphium (is) a brilliantly constructed variation on the Weimar-style cabaret that combines standards, Brecht, Weill, with Friedrich Hollænder, and esteemed visitors, among which Poulenc’s “Hôtel” may be especially mentioned. Extra points for an eyebrow raising transformation of “You Keep Me Hanging On” but that was nothing compared to his own arrangement of Kylie Minogue’s “Confide in Me.” A must-see!”

Peter Burdon, Blaze Magazine, Australia


“Smith weaves an enchanting web of seldom heard, yet seminal cabaret music. It’s impossible not to be drawn into his mystique, his charming lasciviousness, and the haunting voice. Smith is a must-see, one-of-a-kind entertainer. His show, while inspired by the past, is thoroughly modern, always inventive and stunningly performed.”

Steve Murray, Cabaret Scenes Magazine, San Francisco


“Kim David Smith is an epic risk-taker. He roguishly discards conventional boundaries with abandon in his dark, multi-layered new act Misfit…at times, it almost borders on a sado-masochistic excursion into pathos, seduction and nonchalance. Always daring himself and his audience, Smith might be classified as a fascinating performance artist who also sings.”

John Hoglund,, New York City


“★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Kim David Smith’s Morphium is addictive cabaret, fronted by a genius with a mighty future. Smith is the real thing…at last an artist working the room and probing the audience. Smith is a cabaret practitioner who understands his craft and uses every nuance, gesture and lascivious lyric to keep the crowd involved and on the edge of their comfort zones. Smith’s camp acid drops on topics from the personal to the improbable, his musical choices are often rare and always arresting.”

Matt Byrne, Adelaide Sunday Mail, Australia


“(Smith) embodies all that is unique about this art form — it would be a challenge to look away from him. There isn’t an extraneous gesture, expression, word or note. He has chiseled away everything that is unimportant to get down to a precise core. This is cabaret at its best and most interesting!”

Arthur Frank, Cabaret Scenes Magazine, New York City


“Smith performs as if he’s a porcelain doll turning mechanically on a delicate music box. He’s got a wide Mack the Knife smile and occasionally draws his supple hands across his chest, as if wiping off illicit thoughts. Women probably find themselves wanting to mother him; gay men probably think he’d be ooh such fun to take home. He’s all decadence and sly appeal.”

David Finkle, Back Stage Magazine, New York City


“Its a triumphant homecoming for Kim David Smith. Polished to perfection but still wickedly dirty when the moment calls for it, Morphium is one truly engaging hour of cabaret.  Smith is utterly engaging as a sole performer whose vocal talent is arguably among the best in this years Adelaide Cabaret Festival.”

Jessica Leo, The Adelaide Advertiser, Australia


“Mesmerizing both to watch and to listen to, Smith is beautiful, his voice is beautiful, and both make a gorgeous contrast to the often eerie nature of many of his songs. The result is a deliciously unsettling performance you cannot stop watching.  Smith’s cabaret is a blend of classic songs and contemporary pieces imbued with fresh irony and wit, rendering them darker, sometimes funnier, and completely captivating; he holds his own darker version of well-known contemporary songs up against the familiar standard, rendering them unfamiliar, to uncanny effect.”

Bisanne Masoud, Cabaret Exchange Magazine, New York City


“Smith gives each song his own stamp, giving lyrics a meaning far removed from the innocent intentions of the composers. This is definitely cabaret that embraces the dark side. Smith has the audience in the palm of his hand from the moment that he steps on stage to his final exit, whether on the stage or while working his way around the room, resting his hand lightly on the shoulders of men in the crowded venue. His is an exceptional performance with a wicked edge and a high degree of professionalism and polish.”

Barry Lenny, Arts Editor Glam Adelaide, Australia


“Not to mince words, Kim David Smith is mesmerizing.”

Barbara Leavy, Cabaret Scenes Magazine, New York City


“A new breed of cabaret star.”

Troy Gurr, MCV Magazine, Australia

additional photos for artist page. Photo credit Brian Jamie